Dreamspinner / October 21, 2013 / $6.99 digital
Reclusive comic book artist Trip Spector spends his life doodling supersquare, straitlaced superheroes, hiding from his fans, and crushing on his unattainable boss until he meets the dork of his dreams. Silas Goolsby is a rowdy FX makeup creator with a loveless love life and a secret streak of geek who yearns for unlikely rescues and a truly creative partnership.
Against their better judgment, they fall victim to chemistry, and what starts as infatuation quickly grows tender and terrifying. With Silas’s help, Trip gambles his heart and his art on a rotten plan: sketching out Scratch, a “very graphic novel” that will either make his name or wreck his career. But even a smash can’t save their world if Trip retreats into his mild-mannered rut, leaving Silas to grapple with betrayal and emotions he can’t escape.
What will it take for this dynamic duo to discover that heroes never play it safe?
Zombies, costumes, and comic books are the things that bring Trip Spector and Silas Goolsby together in Damon Suede’s m/m romance, Bad Idea. The first book in the Itch series, Bad Idea features an emotional romance between a comic book artist and an FX makeup designer.
Trip, the artist, is a highly neurotic and reclusive man who often doesn’t feel gay enough. He lets his best friends drag him out to a Zombie Outrun where his anxiety over crowds and allergies almost defeat him. Instead, one of his friends gets Trip to agree to tape the event. There, he meets Silas, the makeup designer, who is dressed as a zombie. Silas is an easy going guy who doesn’t normally do relationships, but he falls hard for Trip.
After meeting at the zombie run, the two start dating. But Trip is incredibly insecure and worries constantly that he isn’t good enough for the cooler and more experienced Silas. Trip constantly second guesses himself—and Silas. On one of their dates, Trip confesses that
“I’m pretty, I dunno, crappy at being gay. I never wrapped my head around what I was supposed to be doing. Like everyone else got a memo I didn’t.”
But something about Silas convinces Trip step out of his comfort zone. Trip attends a Nerd Herder movie screening where everyone (except Trip) is in costume. Although Trip feels out of place, he is charmed by Silas. Maybe this is partly due to an intense attraction between the two, and Trip’s discovery that Silas is a bottom. Most men assume that Trip is a bottom because of his quiet demeanor and slender build. Yet with Silas, Trip can let his dominant side out. Sexually these two men are remarkably compatible.
Unfortunately, outside of the bedroom, these two do have issues. Trip has some serious insecurities that wreak havoc on the relationship. Trip works as a comic book artist for Big Dog Comics with Cliff Stapleton as his editor. The job pays well, but does not allow him any outlet for his creativity. He draws watered down comics for the masses that lack any edge. Silas, along with Trip’s friends, convince Trip that he needs to take a big chance and write his own stuff.
Trip takes the advice and creates Scratch, an anti-hero comic book character that bears a remarkable likeness to Silas. Scratch is a gay sex demon and is a character that Cliff believes will ruin Trip’s career. Trip has had a crush on Cliff for years, leading his friends to refer to Cliff as The Unboyfriend. Trip has allowed his career to stagnate because of his attachment to Cliff. Yet Silas does help to crack Cliff’s hold on the artist.
While at a conference where Trip and Silas planned to unveil Scratch to the comic book world, Cliff gets his hooks into Trip. Trip embraces his insecurities, listens to his editor, and he and Silas have a major meltdown. At this point, both Silas and Trip have some soul searching to do. Trip, of course, has to take a stand and figure out what he wants to do with his life. And then he has to make a big gesture to find his happily ever, fittingly enough at another Zombie outrun.
In addition to Trip and Silas, Bad Idea has a fun and eclectic supporting cast. There is Silas’s best friend Kurt, who plays an instrumental role in helping Trip come to grips with his new career; there is Rina, Trip’s romance novelist friend who pushes Trip to make the Scratch comic a romance; there are Jillian and Ben, Trip’s close married friends who offer Trip unconditional support; and there is my favorite, Max, who is Jillian and Ben’s nine year old son. Max is wise beyond his years and ends up providing the catalyst for Trip to face his demons.
Bad Idea is a charming romance about facing one’s fears head on to find love. Trip and Silas have a quirky but fun romance, despite the emotional heartache. These two are characters that will steal reader’s hearts.